Friday, June 21, 2013

"I See You." An Anecdote About The Fairmount Ave Bike Lanes

I rode up to Fairmount Avenue this morning to check out Philadelphia's newest bicycle lanes. We did a lot of work to get them in, so seeing the paint on the ground was particularly satisfying. As of this morning, the lanes are mostly striped. Some lines are only dotted, many symbols are not yet painted, and construction on 19th & Fairmount is preventing the painting of about 100 feet of the lane on the north side. But the lanes are there.

Riding in this lane this morning, my way was blocked by a double-parked commercial vehicle. A driver behind me slowed and waved me ahead of him so I could pass the truck.

Sure, this civility could and does happen without bike lanes. But thanks to the bike lane, my travel lane was visible and clearly blocked, which helped the driver see that he and I were sharing the street, and that my safe passage required his attention.

Bike lanes bring order and calm to a street. They don't prevent all bad interactions, and they are not a necessary ingredient for all good interactions. But they help the percentages, and over time that adds up. ~NM
Some sections of the lanes are just dashed and awaiting solid striping.

25th and Fairmount. The lanes extend 1 more block to Pennsylvania Ave.


Peter said...

The pictures show a bicyclist riding in a very dangerous position in the bike lane - in the "door zone". These are notoriously dangerous as they encourage bicyclists to ride too close to parked cars. Ride on the left edge or even further out of the bike lane to avoid opening doors, Being hit by an opening car door can cause very serious injuries or even be fatal if you fall under a passing car.